Within house music, the classic soulful sound of New York and the raw, cut-up shuffle of Chicago have inspired many producers. But it takes a certain combination of talent, skill and experience to make contemporary house records that draw on these influences whilst also doing justice to the original pioneers. Native New Yorker Ralph Session is a producer and DJ well placed to expertly perform this role.
Since 2008 Ralph has released house music on BlackSoul Music, Chicago’s Whitebeard, Philly’s Emby label, and worked with vocalists of the calibre of Sheree Hicks, Dajae, Jesante and spoken word artist E-man. Running his Half Assed Records imprint has also given Ralph a chance to pursue his own particular vision of house music which has reaped support from across the DJ spectrum including Danny Krivit, The Black Madonna, Nightmares On Wax, Kai Alce, Honey Dijon, Black Loops, Francois K, Hector Romero, Luke Solomon, and Detroit Swindle.
Ralph’s burgeoning back-catalogue is characterized by the influence of those two iconic cities: the musicality and skippy rhythms of NY house and the raw and relentless beats of Chicago, marrying the soulful influence with tough drums, mixing up the two traditions to create an intoxicating, contemporary combination.
And unlike the cliched journey to becoming a DJ/producer – the love of music from an early age, a sibling’s record collection, grade 5 piano – Ralph took a different path that influenced his production work. A serious B-boy for years, he’s already lived a life as a well-known dancer, a dedicated club kid, a face on the floor in the New York night time. Years spent on the dance floors of NYC link into his production style and the ability to feel what dancers really need from a piece of music is intrinsic to his work. Ralph’s also a fully qualified audio engineer and merges the meticulous approach of a pro with a free and loose composition style, a combination that has proved extremely effective.
As a DJ, he’s played at Cielo, Funkbox and various warehouses in New York and Chicago, Shakedown in Philadelphia, Vocal Booth Weekender and Macarena Club in Spain and Djoon in Paris.
Drawing all these influences together, Ralph Session is a DJ and producer who puts out a cutting-edge take on the classic US house template, producing music that DJs love and dancers can’t resist. Coming to a dance floor near you soon.